Hello errybody! It is day 3 of 14 in Japan (afterwards I'm headed back into China for family) and I'm really enjoying it here in Japan. The photos I'm uploading will be a bit hit-n-miss in terms of the quality because I've not got the time to properly go through them and I'm really uploading them not for artistic sake but so you guys can all see what I've seen (at least a glimpse of it). So all these images are straight out of the camera with no editing whatsoever.
Last 2 days, I spent in Tokyo with my family. It was a real blur, thankfully we had a local friend who gave us some well needed pointers (although my dad spends about 20% of his year in Japan, his Japanese is pretty poor still) and directions. However, I was really taken aback by the similarities of the Chinese and Japanese language in terms of written characters; the advantages of that was I could understand the gist of advertisements, billboards, news headings, even some food menus without being able to speak one bit of Japanese (although I've picked up some basic etiquette language).
Tokyo briefly - LOUD NOISES. Holy heck, if you're on the wrong side of the walkway/elevator/escalator/path you're bound to get bowled over or nudged aside roughly by rushing businessmen/women/girls/boys/grandmas. It definitely is far more upbeat and hectic than back in NZ - you'd seldom see such need to move quickly. Apart from that, it's one cool city - there is a two-tier system for public transport (buses are not used so much but still around for short trips due to heavy traffic) where reliance upon the railway is prevalent. There is the JR which is like your normal train, but actually on time and working (TranzMetro/Kiwi Rail Wellington take note), this gets you around to pretty much wherever you wanna go and it's actually quite easy to navigate. I've forgotten to take a few pictures of the stations, they are quite cool because you simply buy a ticket by working out from where you are to how far you're travelling (that determines your cost) then you take the ticket put it through the reader machine and hold onto it for the duration then when you exit at your stop you put your ticket through the reader again and you're done. If you've not paid enough, it'll reject you and you'll have to go to fares correction machines which means you have to top up 'x' amount to get out, but no refunds if you get out earlier.
Money - that's the other scary thing. Everything is in such massive numbers - eat lunch 2500Yen, that's ~$43NZD. However, just totally from a number's view, it's really, really, really massive. I don't think I'll ever been able to come to terms with it.
Food - EVERYWHERE. SO MUCH TO EAT. Oh my god, you would not believe the food here. Don't question it - just eat it.
Currently, I'm in Nagoya City - which is about 2 hours south of Tokyo via bullet train (think distance of Auckland to Wellington!). I prefer it here than to Tokyo because there is definitely more space and not as hectic as it was in Tokyo.
My brain is really fried, it is 11:35pm here and I'm tired! Plenty more photos on my Flickr! and the facebook page, so stay tuned. I apologise for the lack of car-related content, I do have some exciting news on that end of things :)